Welcome…truly, dear ones, welcome. The first of the ancient teachings of yoga from over 2,000 years ago, begins with a welcome and acknowledgement that now, atha, is the time for yoga. I am so glad you are here.
It is no accident you are here at this very moment. Somehow, you knew this was the time and your courage was a wind in your sails. Whether this is a place you’ve been before, and you are coming back to your yoga practice, or it’s the very first time to dip your toe in, you’ve already made the biggest decision…you are ready, you have shown up and you are open to the possibilities.
I remember my initial resistance. Yoga seemed slow and it hardly looked like you’d burn any calories. So what was the purpose? I needed to workout, not just lie around. I have learned to love that high energy, driven young woman that I was. You may remember a similar time in your life…when you had not yet been honed and softened by life.
Children, 2 in 2 years, launching a business with my husband, and 911 shifted my endless energy. I was absolutely exhausted but my body was fairly healthy. My mind was not. It was filled with fear and chaos. There was a dark, cold moment in February of 2002, when in a shiver of clarity, I realized I was not being the amazing parent I had imagined I was going to be. I was not being an amazing anything. Something had to change. That was my invitation to now…to my time for yoga.
The first thing that surprised me about yoga was the breath. As the years of practice have layered one upon the other, I keep seeing how the breath is the now. The first breath lesson is ujjayi, or victorious breath. It is the breath that we use throughout the yoga practice to calm, and smooth the movements. It sounds like a cool breeze and the waves at the beach. It is what makes yoga so very sweet.
The breath is the anchor of the positions we move through, and and anchor for life. The breath can be used to ground and reconnect, to yoke us literally back into ourselves, into the physical human body that we inhabit in that very moment.
I recently read, “when I am anxious, I am living in the future, when I am depressed I am living in the past.” I want to add to that “when I am with my breath I am in the now.” Usually now is just right. Every moment may not be a confetti parade of glitter and unicorns, but a place where I can enjoy what is…and be able to let life unfold with ease.